As the world wraps up this year’s celebration of world immunization week, stakeholders at the FCT Thursday witnessed the showcasing of a new technological solution that promises to improve immunization in Nigeria.
“The ‘Vaximate’ App is a solution developed by the Pfizer group in Nigeria to help ramp up immunization coverage in Nigeria by providing timely alerts for immunization appointments to nursing parents and adults who generally want to know what vaccines they need to protect them against certain disease and where and when they can get them.”
Chika Nwankwo, a community health expert, disclosed this at a roundtable discussion and media engagement organized by the Vaccine Network for Disease Control and other advocacy groups for vaccine access in Nigeria.
The roundtable was organized to commemorate this year’s world immunization week which coincides with the 10th year anniversary of Nigeria’s national vaccine summit in 2012.
Chika Offor, the CEO of Vaccine Network for Disease Control, recounted that the introduction of new technologies was a key action point from the decade-old summit which was also the turning point for Nigeria’s immunization journey – leading to the eradication of Wild Polio Virus in 2020.
Immunization has been a long battle for Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country which also happens to be home to the most prevalent rates of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, hepatitis, pneumococcal diseases, human papillomavirus, diphtheria, malaria and so on. However, Nigeria remains challenged with high levels of vaccine apathy and hesitancy, owing to a low level of education and high levels of misinformation.
Stakeholders at the event expressed optimism with the new technology which is to be officially launched in the coming weeks. Professor Tomori, former Vice-Chancellor of Redeemer University and a special guest at the event commended the initiative saying, “bridging the information gap about vaccines and introducing an immunization assistant such as VAXIMATE, would go a long way to helping increase vaccine uptake and ultimately reduce the burdens of vaccine-preventable diseases in Nigeria.
The event went on to take stock of Nigeria’s commitments applauding the country’s vaccine coverage which has risen from about 31% in 2012 to now 57% post-COVID-19.
The Ministry of Health representative Dr. Omokere, at the event appreciated the organizers and donor partners including private sector including Pfizer for assisting the Government in its aspiration to achieve 90% immunization coverage by year 2030.
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ROYAL NEWS eCopy March 28, 2022
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